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Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Grand Prix Corporation Chairman on both sides of transparency debate

The Age today in “Truth on crowds could hurt us, admits GP chief” picks up on the recent Freedom of Information decision by the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal to confirm the exempt status of documents about ticket sales at the Australian Grand Prix (see our earlier post). The Age says that the evidence indicates that the attendance figure of 300,000 may have been inflated by 45%, a concern given the fact that the Victorian Government spent about $35million last year on the event.

As The Age notes in the fine print, the Chairman of the Grand Prix Corporation, Ron Walker, is also Chairman of Fairfax Media. At the Fairfax AGM last year Walker said that the defeated Howard Government made the suppression of public information into an art form, and looked forward to working with the Rudd Government to strengthen Freedom of Information laws.

There is no report of what Mr. Walker thinks about the Victorian Freedom of Information Act, the Grand Prix Corporation approach to disclosure, or the VCAT decision.

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